How do YOU eat like a local?
November 1st, 2012
01:30 PM ET
Share this on:

Hungry travelers are seeking authentic culinary experiences at home and abroad.

Steaming bamboo baskets of plump soup dumplings arrive at your table. You could be in Shanghai, China, or even San Francisco's Chinatown. But one thing is for sure: With one taste of their delicate hand-rolled skins and rich, savory broth, you're hooked. Especially when you look around and realize that you're the only out-of-towner in the room.

To celebrate the distinct pleasure of being an insider wherever you may be, CNN and Travel + Leisure are joining forces for the delicious multi-platform series "100 Places to Eat Like a Local."

We will be gathering our intel through iReports, canvassing our network of correspondents and chefs across the globe, and gathering on-the-ground dispatches from CNN reporters. This series will look to the food-obsessed everywhere for their recommendations on their favorite uniquely local spots - trattorias, noodle carts, clam shacks, taco stands, izakayas, coffee houses, patisseries - whether in their home towns or farther afield

Learn more at Will travel for food: Share your favorite local eateries and share your story at iReport

Posted by:
Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • iReport • Travel

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    I honestly don't think I eat like a local... Unless going to my "local" grocery store counts, lol. When I go home though I do eat far more local because there are a lot of grass-fed red meat ranches around that sell their products at the grocery stores, which I buy, and then of course, EAT!

    December 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  2. Craig

    I produce a cooking show and it is a series of short docu-style episodes about family, food, and culture and we shot the first season in Florida. It's not 100% about local restaurants but it is about local home cooks. You can watch free

    November 11, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  3. Joan Herrmann

    In Malvern, Arkansas it's Craig's Barbecue. They have a unique sauce I think you will love.

    November 10, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  4. rattlecan willy

    if ur ever in everett wa. go 2 barneys pastrami dip on evergreen way while ive eaten many great sandwiches all over the world mr.barnys pastrami is the triple rockinist culinary delightever to cure the toughest case of the munchies! whatever heaven grants him sainthood is where i want to go when i leave this world!

    November 5, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  5. fiftyfive55

    Eat like a local is easy,I go find a McDonalds.

    November 5, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  6. Pilgrim

    As a transplanted midwesterner now living in New England, I've found several seafood joints out here that are just the best. First is Arnolds Lobster and Clam Bar in eastham on Cape Cod. Just the best all-around seafood joint I've found. Next would be Reds Eats in Wiscassett, Maine, a tiny (size of a garden shed) lobster-roll joint that makes that penultimate Lobster-roll! Not to be equalled anywhere!

    November 5, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Ben

      Penultimate means second-to-last.

      November 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
      • Pilgrim

        Then my bad for using an incorrect word. Amend that to read ultimate.

        November 5, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  7. Blackflag

    If you ever find yourself in Santa Cruz, CA with a hankering for really good Chinese, go straight to O'Mei on Mission Street (Hwy 1). It is located in a little old strip mall and it definitely doesn't look like much from the outside. I think they do that on purpose for crowd control purposes. This place is insanely good! Trust me, and get there early or you will wait for a table. Not your usual Chinese cuisine, and I lived in NYC until I was 31 so I know good Chinese. Hope you get a chance to try it some time.

    November 5, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  8. OvernOut

    We live two minutes from a small but busy SE Michigan bistro called "The Root". My husband's aunt in upstate New York phoned to ask us about this place, it was featured in her local news. They use fresh local produce (me too, in my home cooking) and they even make their own ketchup. They list their local suppliers on their web site. They were voted top local restaurant for 2012 by the Detroit Free Press.

    When we try to eat like locals when we go Up North, we end up at places like "Spike's Keg O' Nails" in Grayling, Michigan. Best Friday night fish fry, the place is packed. My husband says that the roast beef sub sandwiches at the "Bear Paw Pizza and Market" in Glen Arbor, MI are his favorite.

    November 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  9. kris

    Here in CT, we are often thought of for seafood, especially lobster and fried clams, but CT has some of the very best pizza shops, hot dog stands and home made ice cream in America. Many think that NYC or Chicago are the pizza capitals, but our thin crust pizza has people waiting in long lines for a pie. Even the NY Times has taken notice. Also, America's first hamburger was made here in CT at Louis' Lunch in 1900 and still is open to this very day.

    November 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  10. OJSimpsonsghost

    Baby Jesus will also vote for Mitt.

    November 3, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  11. Sam Oscar

    Romney has more positions on every issue than sex positions in Kamasutra ( about 150 ).

    November 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  12. Jim

    I travel frequently on business, and always try to eat at local places, and not national chains. I was in Greenville, NC in June, and found a place there called Wasabi88 on Arlington Blvd. The lettuce wrap appetizer was a really nice start, but the Volcano roll and Wasabi Poppers off the Sushi menu were fantastic. While I didn't have an entree, I think that anyone who enjoys Asian cuisine would love this place. Highly recommended, you won't be disappointed.

    November 3, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Adam

      Funny you mention a small-ish town such as Greenville. I attend ECU, and can attest to the goodness of Wasabi88. Another place I highly recommend should you return is The Chef and the Farmer, located in Kinston (about 30 minutes away). Well worth the short drive, and the food is outstanding. An added benefit is that they strive to put mostly local ingredients in their cuisine.

      November 5, 2012 at 12:44 am |
  13. Thinking things through

    I enjoy eating locally - picking my own veggies (although I have too little sun here to grow a lot of them), visiting farmers markets, making sure my other food, especially in winter, was grown on this continent as much as possible.

    When I travel I don't eat in a clone restaurant, I eat the food the local cuisine (if there is indeed one, and they haven't been subplanted by chains). I eat the local seafood in places like Maine, Baltimore and Louisiana, prepared the cultural ways they learned how. I discovered that the food of Scotland isn't necessarily "bad" for you, even if they didn't seem to think much of leafy greens when I visited last - there's lots of astonishingly-fresh seafood and a good number of the autumnal veggies.

    November 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  14. Thinking things through

    Mitt changes his opinions like other people change their socks. At any rate, economically Barack and Mitt aren't really all that far apart. I agree with your other respondent that you are trolling.

    November 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  15. VladT

    I was raised ( in So. Cal ) on mostly salmon, chicken, and turkey ( ground turkey, etc ), and beef once in a while. However, this past summer I went to Montana, and tried Elk ( two different ways ). Had elk steak which was great, and the next day had an "authentic" ground elk burger. Delicous! The only times I have had Elk, and can't wait to try it again

    November 3, 2012 at 7:52 am |
  16. VladT

    Either you are someone who is so deluded as to believe your own rhetoric, or you are so pathetic as to be an Obama supporter trying to perpetuate your own stereotypical view of a Romney supporter. Regardless, you are a troll coming out from under your bridge to annoy us daywalkers who like to read what's on eatocracy.

    November 3, 2012 at 7:46 am |
  17. MashaSobaka

    The best meal I had in Poland was potato pancakes smothered with goulash. I also ate my bodyweight in Prince Polo bars while I was there. Good times.

    November 3, 2012 at 2:31 am |
  18. The_Mick

    Whenever we've been on foreign tours, we tend to take some time to go for a long walk off the tourist-track to sample local cuisine – which is often much different and much cheaper than the "tourist food" in the close-to-the-tourist-sites cafes. And it's usually very good, whether it's a small outdoor cafe in the Plaka of Athens, the cobblestone streets of Rhodes, the backstreets of Istanbul (we went with a group of 12) off the big circle in the center of the city, or a restaurant established by local women in Wuhan, China where there's a lazy susan in the middle of the round table and you don't order – every dish is brought and placed on it and you help yourself – so it's an adventure trying to figure out what you're eating. The Chinese generally like Americans so usually there's a waitress or waiter available to help you. By the way, I learned in France that you get much better service if you try, even in broken French, to order in their language. The famous "French Rudeness" disappears as soon as they see you're not going to act like an "Ugly American." If you're going there, learn a few lines like: "Je voudrais..." (I want) and "Mercy" (Thanks). With no tips and no tax, the price you see is exactly what you pay. Avoid the overpriced places like Le Moulin Rouge for food. The Brasseries (restaurants with just a few choices for each course) offer excellent 3-course meals for reasonable prices.

    As far as eating like a local at home, I'm taking my extended family for crab cake platters to what many consider Baltimore's best crab cake restaurant, G&M's in A.A. County near BWI Airport, on Nov. 14 which I'm calling "Living of the Fat of the Land Day." It's the day I'm getting my first-ever Social Security check which will allow me to relax my spending after living off a small pension for a few years. The reputations of Baltimore's restaurants are won or lost by the quality of their crab cakes, crab imperial, and crab soup. So I guess a whole lot of locals here "eat like a local."

    November 3, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • Casey

      The week prior to Hurricane Sandy's arrival, we spent a week in Baltimore eating crab cakes every day. Our favorite was at Mo's Fisherman's Wharf. Bo Brooks' restaurant was also good.

      November 3, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • PJ


      November 4, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  19. alpinequeen

    While living in Toronto back in the 90's, I went to an Ethiopian restaurant. Fantastic savory dishes were served in little bowls and dishes with a large plate of flat bread and was served family style and no silverware was placed on our table.

    November 2, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Phil

      I really enjoyed Addis Abeba restaurant in Wrigleyville, Chicago. Just like you described, except the entrees were brought out sharing large pizza(ish) trays. Also no silverware offered.

      November 3, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  20. AK

    How do I eat local? I walk out my back door, say hello to my hens and give the two who love attention a little scratch on the back of the neck, collect their eggs from their house in the corner of my yard, pick what ever fruit, veggies and herbs that look ripe and ready and go back inside.

    November 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      Don't forget to hack their head of and stuff 'em in the oven.

      November 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  21. lmew

    I went to Epcot and ate at a Japanese restaurant and and Italian restaurant. :)

    November 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  22. Noxioussss Sunshine

    I've never been out of the country, but have sampled Peruvian, Mexican, Thai, Karen, Indian, and the list goes on. And yes – the REAL stuff cooked by people from their respective countries (I can cook a lot of authentic Mexican. Not no fajita and ceviche made with pre-cooked fish and clamato bs).

    Here in Bum-youknowhat -Texas, the cuisine seems to be bad Tex-Mex and awesome BBQ (though I think their BBQ sauce comes from a bottle, not homemade. Hmmmm).

    Otherwise in the South, we fry, grill, sautee this shiz out of our greens in bacon fat 'till there's no nutritional value left, and .. Do something else. I can't rememnber what.

    ^ Totally kidding, btw.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  23. ™©JbJiNg!eŚ®™

    I was in Helsinki, Finland in May of this year and I always search out local foods before I arrive. Market Square in the center of Helsinki is like a farmers market, with bright orange tents everywhere. This is where the locals go for their national dish of meat pies, and they had reindeer too which we tried, both delicious! Toripojat translates to 'Market Boys' from what I understand...

    November 2, 2012 at 11:28 am |
| Part of